Gender and Terrorism (Female Suicide Missions)

Lebanon

Female bombers in lebanon camp

Photo: 2002 Three veiled Palestinian women belonging to the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, sit at a press conference at the Baddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon. The women, who carried automatic weapons and surrounded themselves with grenades and explosives, set up a new cell named after female Palestinian suicide-bomber Dareen Abu Aeshah and vowed support for suicide attacks to end Israeli occupation of Arab land.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/deutsche/2147686928/

The first female suicide bombing appeared in Lebanon in 1985, where at least 8 female suicide missions between 1985-1987 were carried out on behalf of several pro-Syrian left oriented parties: Natzersit Socialist Party of Syria; the Syrian Nationalist Party; the Lebanese Communist Party; and the Baath Party of Lebanon[i] . They were perpetrated by:

  • Sana'a Mehaidli (8 or 9 of April, 1985)[ii];
  • Lula Abdul (April 20th1985)[iii];
  • Kharib Ibtisam, (July 9th 1985)[iv]
  • Khaierdin Miriam (September 11th 1985)[v],
  • Taher Hamidah (November 26th 1985)[vi];
  • Norma Abu Hassan, (July 17th 1986)[vii];
  • Shagir Karima Mahmud, (November 14th 1987)[viii];
  • Sahyouni Soraya (November 11th 1987)[ix].  

Two of the missions were directed against military staff and facilities, while 6 targeted civilians[x]. Organizations, all of them secular, resorted to female bombing in order to achieve certain strategic goals related to the national and their own internal agenda. Social support was generated by several factors, predominantly of nationalistic and patriotic nature.[xi] All the perpetrators, except one, were under the age of 40, mainly from South Lebanon and Beirut, relatively well educated and affiliated with nationalist parties. The suicide bombers came from both Christian and Muslim denominations. Individual suicide choice seemed to be determined mainly by the declared motive to fight against Israeli occupation of Palestine.



[i] JANE’S. 2000. Suicide terrorism: a global threat. 20 October. http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/usscole/jir001020_1_n.shtml.

[ii] BEYLER. Clara. 2003. Chronology of Suicide Bombings Carried out by Women12.02.  http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/645/currentpage/20/Default.asp 

[iii] DAVIS, Joyce. Mi cuerpo es un arma. 2004. Ediciones B, Barcelona

[iv] BEYLER. Clara. 2003. Chronology of Suicide Bombings Carried out by Women12.02.  http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/645/currentpage/20/Default.aspx

[v] BEYLER. Clara. 2003. Chronology of Suicide Bombings Carried out by Women12.02.  http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/645/currentpage/20/Default.asp 

[vi] BEYLER. Clara. 2003. Chronology of Suicide Bombings Carried out by Women12.02.  http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/645/currentpage/20/Default.aspx

[viii] BEYLER. Clara. 2003. Chronology of Suicide Bombings Carried out by Women12.02.  http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/645/currentpage/20/Default.aspx 

[ix] 5 KILLED BY BOMB AT BEIRUT AIRPORT. The New York Times. November 12, 1987, Thursday, Late City Final Edition. http://www.lexisnexis.com.chain.kent.ac.uk/uk/nexis/search/newssubmitForm.do

[x] Details on the female suicide bombing in Lebanon could be found in Beyler, Clara. 2003. Chronology of Suicide Bombings Carried out by Women. http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/645/Default.aspx

[xi] Dronzina, Tatyana…..

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